5・9%成長 駆け込みの反動減を乗り切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:12 pm, May 18, 2014
Govt, BOJ must tide over economy’s downturn in the wake of sales tax hike
5・9%成長 駆け込みの反動減を乗り切れ

The national economy’s higher-than-expected growth in the first three months of the year is due primarily to a last-minute surge in demand ahead of the three-percentage-point consumption tax hike to 8 percent in April.
 消費税率引き上げ前の駆け込み需要で押し上げられた高成長である。

To prevent business activities from stalling because of a slowdown of personal consumption in reaction to the tax hike, the government and the Bank of Japan must, without fail, make every possible effort to properly handle economic policy.
 増税後の反動による消費減少で景気失速を招かぬよう、政府と日銀は政策運営に万全を期すべきだ。

According to a report the Cabinet Office released Thursday, the nation’s gross domestic product during the January-March quarter climbed sharply at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 5.9 percent, and 1.5 percent compared with the previous quarter.
 内閣府が発表した1~3月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比1・5%増、年率換算で5・9%増の高い伸びとなった。

The broad expansion in consumer spending served as a major driving force for the jump in GDP—the total value of goods and services produced across the country. Prior to the rise in the tax rate to 8 percent from April 1, there was a large increase in spending on durable goods such as automobiles and home appliances.
 牽引けんいん役は、個人消費の大幅な増加だ。4月から消費税率が8%に上がる前に、自動車や家電などを購入する動きが強まった。

Corporate capital spending, another pillar of domestic demand, also registered a remarkable growth in the first three months of this year, up 4.9 percent from the previous quarter, the highest in about two years. The boost in corporate confidence in capital investment, with companies’ business performances helped by the economic tailwind, including the yen’s weakening, can safely be claimed as a factor favorable to putting the national economy on a full-fledged growth track led by the private sector.
 内需のもう一つの柱である企業の設備投資も、前期比4・9%増と、約2年ぶりの大幅な増加を記録した。円安などを追い風に業績を回復した企業の投資マインドの改善は、民間主導の本格成長への好材料と言える。

It is feared, however, that the pace of growth may plunge, at least temporarily, after April because of the adverse impact of the consumption tax increase. It is imperative to minimize the economic pullback.
 だが、4月以降は消費増税の影響によって、経済成長にいったんブレーキがかかることが懸念される。景気の落ち込みを最小限にとどめる必要がある。

The government should make efforts to steadily implement a fiscal stimulus spending program worth ¥5.5 trillion that was incorporated into a supplementary budget for fiscal 2013.
 政府は、2013年度補正予算に盛り込んだ5・5兆円規模の経済対策の、着実な執行に努めてもらいたい。

Reliance on fiscal spending, however, should be limited. Swift recovery of private-sector demand, such as consumption, is of key importance.
 ただし、財政出動に頼り続けるわけにはいかない。消費など民需の速やかな回復が大切だ。

Fall in exports worrying

Such economic indicators as sales at department stores and purchases of new cars logged negative month-on-month growth figures in April. Although some analysts say the shrinkage is within their expectations, there can of course be no room for undue optimism.
 百貨店の売り上げや新車販売台数は、4月にマイナスに転じた。落ち込みは想定内とする見方もあるが、油断は禁物だろう。

It is necessary to improve the employment and income environment for the populace to shore up domestic demand. The news in this connection is encouraging in that many businesses raised regular monthly pay in the spring by taking into account requests from the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to increase the wages of employees.
 雇用・所得環境をさらに改善して、需要を下支えすることが求められる。安倍政権の要請もあり、多くの企業が今春、ベースアップに踏み切ったのは心強い。

Whether the moves for higher wages will spread to employees of small and midsize companies, as well as part-timers and other nonregular workers, to ensure robust growth is a truly big challenge.
 賃上げの動きを中小企業の社員やパートなどの非正規労働者にも波及させ、力強い成長を実現できるかどうかが課題である。

The aggregate of after-tax profits of companies listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the settlements of accounts for the year ended March 31 this year were double the figure for the previous year. Decisions by high-performance companies to continue to give back some of their profits in the form of higher wages and bonuses for employees will certainly help expand consumption, which will in turn lead to increased corporate profits, thus creating a driving force to realize a “virtuous economic cycle.”
 今年3月期決算で、上場企業の税引き後利益の合計は、前年から倍増した。好業績の企業が今後も利益を給与やボーナスで社員に還元することが、消費を増やし、それが企業利益を押し上げる「好循環経済」の原動力になる。

It is also important for private enterprises to determine carefully what lines of business should be considered promising to accelerate their capital investment.
 民間企業が将来性のある事業をしっかり見極め、前向きの投資を加速させることも重要である。

What is worrisome, however, is that the nation’s exports have yet to recover despite of the weakness of the yen.
 気がかりなのは、円安が定着しているのに、輸出が思うように回復していない構造的な問題だ。

Given that the growth of China and emerging economies in Asia has slowed down, the uncertainties of future prospects of demand from abroad have been deepening alarmingly.
 中国やアジア新興国の成長率が鈍化し、外需の先行きは一段と不透明になってきた。

It is time for Japan to more effectively use its assets for creatively manufacturing products, including the “one-only” skills that are particular to many small and midsize businesses and a mountain of patents major companies currently possess but have not used, so as to enhance this country’s global earning power.
 中小企業の持つオンリーワン技術や大企業に埋もれる多数の特許など、日本のもの作りの財産を有効活用し、「世界で稼ぐ力」を今こそ高めなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 18, 2014)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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